Has idiosyncracies, but the most bang for your buck in grinding performance
Positive Product Points
This is a well constructed example of German engineering. The base is walnut, and the grinder has a heavy cast-iron top. The burrs are tool grade steel, and have a ten year warranty. Overall, this is a solid and heavy duty grinder -- built like a tank.
Negative Product Points
The Zass does have a few negatives.
The adjusting knob has a tendency to turn as you grind.
The grinds collect into a small drawer. When I make a full 10 cup pot, I must empty the drawer four times. Also, the drawer is not designed for easy dumping into a coffee filter basket.
I purchased my Zassenhaus about a year ago as a replacement for my first grinder, a Bodum Antigua. Based on the wealth of information I read at Sweet Maria's, I thought it would be a good moderately priced alternative to the much more expensive espresso grade grinders (e.g. Rancilio Rocky). I was primarily brewing French Press and vac pot at the time, and was not satisfied with the uneven grind the Antigua offered. Sweet Maria's stated the Zass could be used for espresso, as well, so I thought I could use it when I prepared to enter that arena. NOTE: I decided the Zassenhaus required too much effort for espresso, and purchased a Rancilio Rocky for that purpose. :)
The Zass has performed well for me, once I learned its idiosyncracies. It grinds very evenly, and works well for a variety of grinding levels. I have used it for French Press, vac pot, and primarily for my Capresso MT500 drip coffeemaker. I usually make 8 cups, and use 50 grams of coffee. I must crank the handle around 200 times, and empty the collection drawer three times. It can be a chore early in the morning! I hold onto the adjusting knob as I grind, to keep it from slipping and changing the grind consistency during the process.
The grinds collect into a small wooden drawer, which pulls out for emptying. The drawer comfortably holds about 60 to 70 cranks worth of coffee. I overfilled it a couple times early on, and now count my cranks each time. The drawer is square, and a bit clumsy to dump into a filter basket. I have to angle it a bit while tipping, and usually only lose a few grounds in the transfer.
Sweet Maria's is first rate to deal with. They carry an outstanding selection of grinders, and fact / tip sheets about operation and care.